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CENTER FOR THE ARTS ANNOUNCES 2004-2005 SEASON

April 2, 2004
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY CENTER FOR THE ARTS ANNOUNCES THE
2004-2005 SEASON OF
GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON

New Season Marked by World Premiere Theater, Returning Bestselling Artists, Holiday Performances, and much, much more!

Center for the Arts announces the 2004-2005 Season of Great Performances at Mason to be sponsored by First Horizon Bank as financial institution breaks new ground in metropolitan area

Mark Morris Dance Group returns to the Center for the Arts for two
highly-anticipated performances

Jeffrey Siegel’s Keyboard Conversations® expands to four programs

Theater of the First Amendment produces a World Premiere full-length run of a new Dianne McIntyre creation with music by Olu Dara

Virginia Opera produces Wagnerian epic Tristan and Isolde, and three more spectacular operas

The Center showcases classical music of the highest caliber with the Kirov Orchestra, piano genius Ivo Pogorelich, the Venice Baroque Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
ÿ Expanded Holiday Presentations include Chanticleer, The Boys Choir of Harlem and the Canadian Brass

Guest soloists of the highest caliber include duo pianists Marielle and Katia LaBèque, cellist Lynn Harrell, and pianist Christopher O’Riley


Fairfax, Virginia, April 2, 2004—"This new season represents a high-water mark of quality and range," comments Rick Davis, artistic director of George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on announcing the 2004-2005 Season of Great Performances at Mason. And, continued Davis, "The response to our current season has been so strong that we felt confident investing in an even more ambitious program for 2004-2005 – both in terms of additional events and top-flight, superstar artists." The announcement included news of returning dance companies, orchestras of extraordinary power led by internationally renowned conductors, groundbreaking theater and world music events at the Center for the Arts on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University. It was also announced, that First Horizon Bank will sponsor the 2004-2005 Season of Great Performances at Mason — a first for the university's professional performing arts center. First Horizon Bank, a newcomer to the area's financial arena, is "pleased to begin an association with the Center for the Arts," says Terrie G. Spiro, First Horizon regional president. "We at First Horizon are delighted to be in this diverse and energetic community and we’re so pleased to have the opportunity to sponsor an organization that so impressed us with their commitment to this local community." First Horizon Bank is a full-service financial company, making inroads into the Northern Virginia area with centers in Arlington, Fairfax and Centreville and its regional corporate headquarters in Tysons Corner.

The 2004-2005 Season of Great Performances at Mason consists of nine series, including Magnificent Music, Dynamic Dance, Theater, Keyboard Conversations, Global View, Virginia Opera, American Echoes, All Music and All Dance.

"Our dance series has been regarded for many years as one of the strongest in the nation," states Davis, noting his pleasure in bringing back the Mark Morris Dance Group, Elizabeth Streb’s STREB ACTION and the unique movement language of MOMIX.

In the classical music arena, the Center’s traditionally strong commitment to the world’s great orchestras, conductors and soloists is further advanced this season. Davis points to performances by Valery Gergiev and the Kirov Orchestra, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos leading the Dresden Philharmonic and Vladimir Temirkanov conducting the St. Petersburg Philharmonic as leaders in a classical series that also showcases the long-awaited return of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields with special guest Christopher O’Riley who, says Davis, "charms the country as he advances the cause of classical music on NPR’s ‘From the Top.’"

The Center’s series of ‘Concerts with Commentary,’ Keyboard Conversations®, proves its popularity and staying power as a fourth concert is added to the current series of three.

Citing the Northern Virginia and metro area’s cultural diversity, Davis announced performances which will reflect the community’s diversity and rich cultural cache, including two crowd-pleasing return engagements: the National Acrobats of Taiwan and Balé Folclorico da Bahia. A "beautiful portrait of contemporary Latin culture," is how Davis describes By the Hand of the Father, a music/spoken word/visual piece paying homage to the Mexican diaspora.

Davis, who also serves as artistic director fo the Center’s award-winning professional theater company, Theater of the First Amendment, is particulary pleased to announce the theater season including two productions from Theater of the First Amendment – the acclaimed Nathan the Wise, a timely adaptation of Lessing’s play on religious tolerance which was broadcast on WETA-TV, and Open the Door, Virginia!, marking the return of Dianne McIntyre and Olu Dara with a musical exploration of the commonwealth’s journey toward school desegregation. "We are also proud to welcome back Anne Bogart’s innovative SITI Company in a beautiful new adaptation of a harrowing tale from the Middle Ages, Death and the Ploughman; and one of our regular favorites, the Acting Company, returns with some of their professional alumni in a new stage version of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter adapted by Rebecca Gilman."

Renewals and new subscriptions to the 2004-2005 Season of Great Performances at Mason are being accepted now. For more information on subscriptions call 703-993-ARTS (2787). The complete season of Great Performances at Mason, with performance dates, prices and series breakdown, is available at www.gmu.edu/cfa.

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies, and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater, and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.

The Center for the Arts
Since October 1990, when the doors opened at this world-class performing arts center, the arts in Northern Virginia have not been the same. Located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University, the Center for the Arts includes multiple performance spaces — Harris Theater, TheaterSpace, Black box, the Dance Studio, and our premiere venue, the Concert Hall.

The Center for the Arts plays a key role in the cultural vitality of the Washington Metropolitan region, attracting more than 100,000 patrons each year to performances by local artists and ensembles; community functions; student and faculty productions; the award-winning offerings of Theater of the First Amendment; and our own series — Great Performances at Mason. The Center also serves the George Mason University community, playing a significant role in the education and lives of students and faculty.